Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 26 May 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Alley behind Louise Street in Burslem

A man is charged with the production of cannabis following an investigation into the sudden death of a 52-year-old.

Read more

End of live updates

That's it for live updates today.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Stoke and Staffordshire.

Leader of city council slowly losing his eye sight

James Bovill

Staffordshire Political Reporter, BBC News

The leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council is slowly losing his eye sight. 

The Sentinel newspaper revealed that councillor Dave Conway has an age-related macular degeneration. 

The 74-year-old says he's determined to finish his term in office, telling the newspaper "I’ll lead our great city for as long as I’m able".

Dave Conway
BBC

When I found out I thought, I'll beat that, I don't care what they say. But it has got worse."

David ConwayStoke-on-Trent City Council leader

Lotto winner hands out lottery tickets to bus passengers

A bus driver who won £6.1m on the National Lottery says "he really doesn't know" what he's going to spend his winnings on.

A day after discovering his big win, Kevin Jones, drove his Crewe to Newcastle route because he didn't want to let his passengers down.

Now in a grand gesture of kindness he's handing out lottery tickets to some of his loyal passengers.

This content only works in the UK.

See more on Midlands Today at 18:30, BBC One.

Latest headlines: Council leader says he'll carry on, despite going blind; Crewe Alexandra sign Lowe for a third time

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC Radio Stoke newsroom this afternoon include:

- The leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council says he's determined to stay in the role despite the fact he's going blind

- People living in Bishop Offley near Stafford are being asked to check sheds and out buildings for a missing woman  

Relegated League One side Crewe Alexandra have signed veteran Bury striker Ryan Lowe for a third time

Sport at Six on BBC Radio Stoke

Matt Sandoz

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Tonight on Sport at Six I'll be speaking to former Stoke favourite Terry Conroy about last season and how he hopes the Potters can help the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2016.

Plus we'll be finding out from the executive director of Uttoxeter racecourse David MacDonald how their season is going.

Ambulance trust one of only two not to buy in from the private sector

The West Midlands Ambulance Service is one of only two trusts in the country which hasn't spent any money paying for private ambulances

Overall, the NHS is spending three times as much money on private ambulances for 999 calls compared to four years ago. 

Ambulance
BBC

The BBC has discovered ambulance trusts across England spent at least £66m last year on private vehicles to cope with the rising number of emergency calls.  

Lowe's 'new chapter' at Crewe Alexandra

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Ryan Lowe is now officially a Crewe Alexandra player for a third time in his career.

The 37-year old has this afternoon penned a one-year contract with an option of a further 12 months.

Lowe turned down the offer of a new contract with his former club Bury to try and help the Alex win promotion back to League One at the first time of asking.

View more on twitter

Skylight robbery in Stafford

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A tyre company in Stafford is appealing for information after thieves broke into its building overnight through a skylight.

County Tyres on Astonfields Industrial Estate was broken into at about 01:45 this morning after thieves gained access to the building via the roof. 

The company says thieves were interrupted by the owner who came and checked the premises when an internal alarm system went off. A number of tyres were left on the roof and the company says an adjoining unit was also broken into but nothing taken.

Astonfields Industrial Estate in Stafford
Google

Staffordshire Police is warning businesses to be "observant at all times and review any security measures".

Council 'inappropriate to discuss' concerns over council audit leader

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Cheshire East Council says it would be "inappropriate to discuss an individual staff member" after concerns have been raised about the man leading an internal audit over the way it awards contracts. 

A council spokesman said; “Cheshire East Council takes the health and well-being of all its staff very seriously and has a range of support services to offer staff when they face challenges of any kind.”

Gary Deegan

Shrewsbury bring in Southend midfielder Gary Deegan on a two-year deal and prepare to sign Port Vale striker Louis Dodds.

Read more

Lotto win bus driver behind the wheel

Ben Sidwell

BBC Midlands Today

No wonder he's smiling! I'm on board with the bus driver who's won £6.1m.

You can see my report on Midlands Today at 18:30, BBC One.

National Lottery winner Kevin Jones
BBC

'What a good decision' to keep Walters, says Stoke chief exec

Graham McGarry

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes says it was a good decision by the club to reward Jon Walters (pictured) with a new contract last season. 

Despite uncertainty around the Irishman's future in the summer, Walters signed a new deal, which runs until the end of May 2018.

Jon Walters, Stoke City
Getty Images

If we think back to 10 months ago when we hadn't agreed a contract with Jon he was talking about needing to leave and ultimately we agreed a new contract with him to keep him at the club. What a good decision that's been but more to the point what a fantastic season Jon went and had for us."

Tony ScholesStoke City chief executive

Appeal to find missing Staffordshire woman

Concerns are growing for the safety a Staffordshire woman who's been missing since this morning. 

Ann Burdett, 46, was last seen at her home in Bishops Offley near Stafford yesterday. 

Ann Burdett
Staffordshire Police

She's said to be around 5' 0" with blonde bobbed hair and wearing a black running top with "wind stocker" on the back. 

Travel: Lichfield rail services restart

Warnings of a few delays, but rail services between Lichfield and Birmingham are back up and running, according to train operator London Midland.

View more on twitter

'Big job' to remove Britannia Stadium branding from Stoke

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City is aiming to rid the roads of Britannia Stadium signs by the start of next month. 

From the first of June, the ground will be known as the bet365 Stadium under a new sponsorship deal. 

Richard Smith, managing director the club says it will take several months for all the sign posts across the city and the stadium to change. 

Britannie Stadium
Getty Images

Travel: Lichfield rail services delayed after vehicle hits bridge

Rail services between Lichfield and Birmingham are facing delays.

View more on twitter

Football: Shrewsbury set to sign Port Vale striker

James Bond

Sports Producer, BBC Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town are set to sign Port Vale forward Louis Dodds, the BBC understands. 

The 29-year-old will join on a free transfer at the end of his contract with the Potteries club.

Louis Dodds
Getty Images

Dodds has made over 300 appearances since signing for Vale eight years ago.

Bus driver carries on route after Lotto win

A bus driver who won £6.1m on the National Lottery says "he really doesn't know" what he's going to spend his winnings on.

A day after discovering his big win, Kevin Jones, drove his Crewe to Newcastle route because he didn't want to let his passengers down. 

I have a philosophy of speculate a little - consolidate a lot. We're going to buy a modest home which we'll hopefully be happy in. And then we're going to make sure our children will be OK. Then we'll draw a tight belt and live reasonably securely."

Kevin Jones

NHS 'must get a grip on hospital discharge delays'

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

The NHS in England must get a grip on the delays patients face in being released from hospital, as the problem causes unnecessary harm and wastes money, the National Audit Office says.

A report by the watchdog estimated the delays were costing £820m a year.

Doctor
Thinkstock

It warned they also put older patients at risk because they lose mobility during extended stays.

It comes after delays hit record levels this winter because of a lack of support available in the community.

Goodbye Vale - Hello Fleetwood Town

Chris Neal has joined fellow League One side Fleetwood Town after leaving Port Vale. 

Vale's 2013-14 player of the year saw his four-year stay at Vale Park come to an end this summer, with Fleetwood quick to snap up the 30-year-old goalkeeper following his release. 

He has signed a two-year deal and is likely to be the Cod Army's number one after Wales international Chris Maxwell left the club for Preston North End earlier this month.

View more on twitter

Post mortem due to be carried out on alleyway victim

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A 27-year-old man is being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder after the body of a man was found in an alleyway in Burslem in the early hours.

A post mortem is due to be carried out on the 52-year-old victim this afternoon

Ryan Lowe expected to be first summer signing for Crewe Alexandra

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra are poised to announce their first summer signing - we expect it to be striker Ryan Lowe. 

The BBC understands Lowe is due back from his holiday today and the deal could be finalised in the next 24 hours. 

Latest headlines: Alleyway death treated as 'unexplained'; Britannia Stadium signs to be binned next month

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC Radio Stoke newsroom this lunchtime include:

- The death of a 52-year-old man in a Stoke-on-Trent alleyway this morning is being treated as unexplained, say police

- Stoke City is aiming to rid the roads of Britannia Stadium signs by the start of next month

Transport experts are questioning the need for England's new high speed rail network, HS2, to support extra-fast trains

HS2 'needlessly expensive'

Roger Harrabin

BBC environment analyst

In all, the building of HS2 is expected to cost £56bn, with work on phase one from London to Birmingham scheduled to be finished in 2026, with a route to Crewe completed the following year.

A group of academics have today not only criticised its price tag, but also its environmental credentials and its ability to regenerate the north of the country.

HS2 protest sign
CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/GETTY IMAGES

The decision to design for 240mph has led to a succession of needlessly expensive knock-on effects in construction which will be saddling taxpayers with huge bills for a generation."

Professor James CrollUCL

A spokesperson for HS2 said the rail line was being designed for the future and "anticipates faster speeds to ensure the railway can take up future technological innovations".

Watch: Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

The cloud is expected to thin and break this afternoon allowing for some brighter weather for a time. Highs of 16C (61F). 

This content only works in the UK.

Bus driver drove route after winning £6.1m on Lotto

A Crewe bus driver who won over £6m on the lottery says he won't be going on a big spending spree.

Kevin Jones, who won the cash earlier this month, has now resigned from his job on the Crewe to Newcastle route but he says he won't be going overboard.

Lottery winner Kevin Jones
The National Lottery

It just suddenly hit me that I had six numbers. I went to work the next day. I was roistered to start at 5:30 and I know a lot of people depend on that route to get around from Newcastle to Crewe. I felt obliged to make sure those people got to work."

Kevin JonesLottery winner Kevin Jones

'Attempted murder' arrest over Burslem death

A man arrested over the death of a man in an alley in Burslem is now being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder.

Staffordshire Police originally told the BBC he had been arrested on suspicion of murder, although that quickly became assault.

He is now under arrest on suspicion of attempted murder, the force says - officers have refused to give any more details at this stage of the inquiry.

They are continuing to treat the death as "unexplained".

Forensic team leave the scene after body found in Stoke

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Each end of an alleyway behind Louise Street in Burslem has been cordoned off by police after a man's body was discovered in the early hours of this morning.

Staffordshire Police have arrested a man on suspicion of assault.

There are four police cars there and a forensic team has now left the scene.

The victim, who had suffered head injuries, was declared dead at the scene behind a row of terraced houses.  

HS2 rail link 'five times more expensive than French equivalent'

Roger Harrabin

BBC environment analyst

HS2 is an over-priced, gold-plated project and will fail in many of its objectives, a group of transport experts has warned.

The academics support high-speed rail overall, but say HS2 is five times more expensive than its French equivalent.

HS2
HS2

They argue that the benefits of HS2 can be achieved much more cheaply, with lower CO2 emissions, and they want their analysis examined by government.

A spokesman for HS2 said options for bringing down costs were being studied.

Police treating alleyway death as 'unexplained'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A man who was found dead in an alleyway in Stoke-on-Trent this morning is being treated as "unexplained" by Staffordshire Police.

Emergency services were called to the Louise Street in Burslem at about 03:00 after an unconscious man was discovered but was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police now say a man is being questioned by officers on suspicion of assault, rather than murder.

Travel: Delays on the roads

BBC Travel

- There's slow traffic on A452 Chester Road in Wylde Green at the B4142 Boldmere Road junction due to roadworks

- There are also delays on A461 Lichfield Road southbound in Brownhills at the A452 Chester Road junction

Keep up to date with the latest information on BBC Travel.

Latest headlines: Man arrested on suspicion of Stoke alley death; concerns raised over council investigator

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories for Stoke and Staffordshire that we're looking at this morning include:

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of another man was found in an alley in Stoke-on-Trent

- There are concerns the man investigating the way Cheshire East Council spends money is being put under pressure due to allegations about his employment

- It was "a good decision" by Stoke City to reward Jon Walters a new contract last season, says chief executive Tony Scholes 

Concerns over man investigating council spending

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

There are concerns that the man investigating the way Cheshire East Council spends money is being put under pressure over allegations about his employment. Councillors are seeking reassurances.

Last December, Cheshire East Council's internal team of auditors began investigating the way thousands of pounds worth of contracts are awarded to companies, after concerns were raised about the council's rules being waived. The police are now looking into it. 

Cheshire East Council
Google

Since then allegations have been made about the man in charge of the internal audit team. They're understood to include a suggestion he took more holiday in a year than he was entitled to. 

An anonymous letter has led to concerns over the timing of those allegations. It's not known whether there is any substance to the claims, and as yet no formal disciplinary action has been taken.

Murder arrest after body found in Stoke-on-Trent alley

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of another man was found in an alley in Stoke-on-Trent.

Police were called by ambulance crews to a service lane behind Louise Street in Burslem at 03:00. 

This content only works in the UK.

The man had suffered serious head injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Watch: Latest forecast for the West Midlands

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A grey, cloudy start, though any mist will quickly clear. 

It'll then remain dry with sunny spells developing through the afternoon. The best of the sunshine will be in southern parts where it will be warmer with highs of 18C (64F).

This content only works in the UK.